Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2013-10-18 03:00 PM
Since the official opening of the latest legislative session on September 17, Jiang tried but failed six times to present his administrative report as the opposition, led by the Democratic Progressive Party, blocked the podium. After a motion of no confidence failed last Tuesday to bring down Jiang’s Cabinet, the DPP decided to give up its boycott and to concentrate its efforts on ousting President Ma Ying-jeou.
Friday morning, 38 out of 40 DPP lawmakers, the three members of the Taiwan Solidarity Union and the two People First Party legislators held a joint news conference on the steps of the main assembly building to call for Jiang’s resignation and for action against the president.
“The Kuomintang will be terminated by public opinion,” said DPP caucus chief whip Ker Chien-ming, describing Jiang as the most unpopular premier in history and as one of the main sources of the country’s current constitutional chaos.
The major loser in the motion of no confidence was the KMT because it had been forced to give up public opinion and become a mere instrument of Ma’s opinion, Ker said.
Earlier, DPP lawmaker Chen Ting-fei said the government had completely disregarded public opinion. “While Jiang Yi-huah is laughing, the whole country is crying,” she said while holding up a picture of the premier with a broad smile on his face.
Two DPP lawmakers reportedly stayed away from the joint opposition news conference, Chen Chi-mai because he opposed ending the boycott against Jiang and Chiu Yi-ying because she resented Ker’s grip on the caucus, reports said.
Because of the dispute between ruling camp and opposition, Jiang still had to postpone his address from the morning until ten minutes before noon. The three TSU legislators held up placards with slogans against wiretapping the Legislative Yuan, the service trade pact with China and electricity price rises.
After he finished reading his speech, Jiang paid a visit to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng. The DPP had motivated its boycott by demanding an apology from the premier for his alleged comments last month that the government was ready for a Legislative Yuan without Wang. During Friday’s session, media also reported that Jiang bowed twice to the legislative speaker.
In his report, the premier promised the formation of a platform between the Executive Yuan and the Judicial Yuan where the two government bodies could conduct a thorough review of current wiretap policies and practices. If wiretaps were found to be illegal, they had to be dealt with according to the law, while in the case of legal wiretaps, they could not be used indiscriminately, Jiang said.
He concluded his speech by calling for cooperation between Executive Yuan and Legislative Yuan in passing the 2014 central government budget and 37 pieces of priority legislation, including the economic cooperation agreement with New Zealand and the service trade accord with China.